2020 Ann Arbor City Council election guide

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 4:49pm

.

Design by Hibah Chughtai

On the Aug. 4 primary election ballot, voters will decide on five seats on the Ann Arbor City Council. With one seat open in each ward and 13 total candidates running, The Daily has put together a City Council election guide with each candidate’s platforms to help Ann Arbor voters make informed decisions at the polls.

Ward 1

Anne Bannister (D), incumbent

Bannister was first elected to City Council in 2017 and is seeking a second term on the council. She grew up and went to school in Ann Arbor and graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1986. She is a Certified Financial Planner and has worked for the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America for 10 years.

Bannister often voted against new housing developments in Ann Arbor during her time on the council, citing density and zoning concerns, but has shown support for affordable housing plans such as development at the old Y-lot site. She supported A2Zero, the recent initiative to help Ann Arbor go carbon neutral by 2030. Bannister also supports the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission and community policing techniques.

To read Bannister’s platform, click here.

Lisa Disch (D)

Disch is a professor in the political science and women’s studies departments at the University. She has lived in Ward 1 since 2008 and is a part of Voters Not Politicians, an initiative to end gerrymandering in Michigan, in 2018. According to her website, she is a “life-long Democrat.”

Affordable housing, safety and environmental sustainability are at the top of Disch’s platform. She supports funding the development of affordable housing and has proposed the creation of a Renters’ Commission. Additionally, Disch wants to implement more sustainable practices city-wide and strengthen community oversight of policing in Ann Arbor.

To read Disch’s platform, click here.

Ward 2

Jane Lumm (D), incumbent

Lumm was previously on the council as a Republican from 1993 to 1998. She has served as a representative of Ward 2 as an Independent since 2011 and announced her decision to run as a Democrat in April. 

During Lumm’s tenure on City Council, she has consistently voted against new development in Ann Arbor, as well as against increased spending and taxes. Lumm, along with Ali Ramlawi, D-Ward 5, is a City Council liaison to the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission. She supports fiscal responsibility, as well as prioritizing spending on essential services and infrastructure. 

To read Lumm’s platform, click here.

Linh Song (D)

Song is in her second term as president of the Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees. She has lived in Ann Arbor for 21 years and graduated from the University with a degree in political science and later obtained her Master of Social Work in policy and evaluation. Song has worked in the nonprofit sector doing anti-trafficking work and serves on the board of directors for both Avalon, an affordable housing organization, and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. 

In her platform, Song discusses city services, good governance and community. She supports improving public bus routes and other forms of public transportation, promoting engagement within the community and advocating for affordable housing.

To read Song’s platform, click here.

Ward 3

Tony Brown (D)

Brown has lived in Ann Arbor since 1980. He is the digital content manager at WDET, Detroit’s National Public Radio station, where he has covered issues such as the Flint water crisis and PFOS and PFOA water contamination.

Priorities on Brown’s platform include affordable housing, sponsoring art programming and environmental equity. He supports protections over clean drinking water as well as investing in Ann Arbor neighborhoods.

To read Brown’s platform, click here.

Travis Radina (D)

Radina is the director of global alumni communities at the Alumni Association at the University and has served as the city’s LGBTQ liaison since 2018. He is also serving his fourth term as president of the board for the Jim Toy Community Center, and previously worked as a Constituent Services Director and Legislative Director for the Democratic Floor Leader in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Radina’s platform focuses on public services, affordability and diversity and inclusion. He supports police reform and the 8 Can’t Wait campaign, building mixed-use and carbon neutral housing developments, and also advocates for LGBTQ, race and gender issues.

To read Radina’s platform, click here.

Evan Redmond (D)

Redmond graduated from the University in 2013 with a degree in neuroscience and later obtained his MBA and a degree in business analytics from U-M Dearborn. He has been a member of the Democratic Socialists of America since 2018 and volunteered with the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2019.

Redmond’s main platform points include environment protection, housing, police oversight, transportation and labor. He wants to allocate some of the Ann Arbor Police Department’s budget to community improvement projects. In addition, he hopes to make Ann Arbor one of the most walkable and bike-able cities in the Midwest. Redmond supports the creation of a tenants union and a $15 minimum wage.

To read Redmond’s platform, click here.

Ward 4

Jack Eaton (D), incumbent

Eaton has served on City Council since 2013 and has lived in Ann Arbor for more than 30 years. In 2018, he unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Ann Arbor. He helped found the South Maple Group and the Neighborhood Alliance and has served as the president of Friends of Dicken Woods.

While on City Council, Eaton has often voted against new housing developments and says he believes the city should only approve developments that are necessary. He supports the allocation of funds toward public services and maintenance and opposes raising taxes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eaton also advocates for environmental issues and supports the A2Zero initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

To read Eaton’s platform, click here.

Jen Eyer (D)

Eyer previously worked for MLive and The Ann Arbor News. She has also served on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners after being selected to fill a vacant position.

She has volunteered within the Ann Arbor Public School system, the A2Y Chamber of Commerce and the Ann Arbor Art Center.

Eyer supports fixing the roads, cleaning up the Gelman dioxane plume and safeguarding Ann Arbor’s water. She also advocates for using tax dollars from new housing developments for affordable housing, as well as bringing back a tenants’ union and renters’ commission. Additionally, Eyer supports the A2Zero carbon neutrality initiative and implementing more sustainable transportation options.

To read Eyer’s platform, click here

Mozhgan Savabieasfahani (D)

Savabieasfahani is an environmental toxicologist and has conducted environmental research at the University. She has published more than 30 scientific journal articles on the effects of chemical pollution.

On her platform, Savabieasfahani supports adding more mass transit to be more environmentally sustainable, raising the minimum wage to $15, giving more funds to the Delonis Center and addressing the affordable housing crisis. She advocates against U.S. military aid to Israel and for cleaning up the Gelman dioxane plume.

To read Savabieasfahani’s platform, click here.

Ward 5

Erica Briggs (D)

Briggs graduated from Michigan State University with a doctorate in political science this past spring. She has lived in Ann Arbor for half her life, having lived in Ann Arbor as a child and most recently returning in 2009. She currently serves on the Ann Arbor Planning Commission. Briggs has previously been on the Ann Arbor Energy Commission and was the vice chair of Ann Arbor Zoning Board of Appeals.

Her platform prioritizes A2Zero, increasing the amount of affordable and inclusive housing and building transparency in government. She supports creating a sustainable system of transportation throughout the city as well as adding sidewalks by schools and additional bike lanes.

To read Briggs’ platform, click here.

Dan Michniewicz (D)

Michniewicz has experience working in the food industry in Ann Arbor and currently works as a baker at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. He serves on the Washtenaw County Food Policy Council and is a precinct delegate for the Washtenaw County Democratic Party. He is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Michniewicz’s platform focuses on advocating for Ann Arbor workers and tenants through increasing affordable housing and supporting clean energy initiatives in the city. He supports defunding the Ann Arbor Police Department and A2Zero.

To read Michniewicz’s platform, click here.

David Silkworth (D)

Silkworth graduated from the University in 1998 with a degree in sociology. He has served honorably in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and ran for City Council unsuccessfully in 2016 and 2017.

His platform discusses community policing and the Y-lot as an affordable housing site. Silkworth also supports the continuation of single-family neighborhoods and the revised A2Zero plan to help the city reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

To read Silkworth’s platform, click here.

Daily News Editor Barbara Collins can be reached at bcolli@umich.edu.